Moziah Bridges launched his successful bow-tie business at the age of nine on his grandmother’s sewing machine. Bridges is now a high school senior, and as he's grown, so has Mo’s Bows. Once a budding business, it's now an internationally-recognized brand featured on television and in Time Magazine, Forbes and O, The Oprah Magazine.
Moziah Bridges' new book, "Mo's Bows: A Young Person's Guide to Start-Up Success: Measure, Cut, Switch Your Way to a Great Business," was published by Running Kid Press and is available for purchase through major online distributors including Amazon.com. (Mo's Bows)
Bridges is a native Memphian and both president and creative director of Mo's Bows. He can now add author to his list of accomplishments.
His debut book, "Mo's Bows: A Young Person's Guide to Start-Up Success: Measure, Cut, Stitch Your Way to a Great Business," shares his 'pattern' for success and the lessons he's learned balancing school, family and a thriving business.
High Ground News caught up with the teenpreneur to chat about his new book, his growing business and his plans to build a fashion empire after high school.
[Note: Some responses edited with minor edits for clarity and brevity.]
How do you balance it all — being a student, business owner and just Mo?
Having my Mom and I set schedule of when I do things helps me to balance it all. I also have a positive circle around me because sometimes when you surround yourself with negative people it makes you feel like you’re not worthy enough or you’re doubting yourself a lot. Because I have a lot of positive people around me, it's pretty easy to stay on track and stay on task.
Your family has been integral to your journey, with your grandmother teaching you how to sew and your Mom guiding you as a manager. What has that been like?
That has been pretty great but also pretty crazy because I am also a teen that’s growing up. Balancing those two things can be pretty tough, but I think we’ve got it all together. We’ll have family meetings just so we can make sure we’re all on the same page. Having that positive circle — my best friends, my close cousins, my Mom — really helps with balancing everything.
How do you define success?
Well, I define success with being content with your lifestyle and being happy with how far you’ve come. I think I am pretty happy, and that’s not just based off of money and accomplishments but because I’ve been able to inspire so many people to accomplish their dreams.
Why do you think it's important for kids to learn about entrepreneurship?
The younger you start, the more time you have to figure out what you really want to do. You don’t want to get older and be stuck wondering, ‘Well, I don’t know what I want to be' or 'I don’t know what I want to do.'
What is your most memorable moment as a kidpreneur and now a teenpreneur?
I think my most memorable moment was definitely getting a call from Tommy Hilfiger. I didn’t answer at first because I thought it was another customer and I’d have to call them back. Basically, the was saying that he loved my ties, especially the red, white and blue one, of course, because that’s his theme. He was just telling me to keep going and to always believe in myself. That just really stuck with me.
Later, he invited me to his office and his staff showed me around. It was just great! I got to see so much that lots of young designers can’t even imagine. It was a really memorable experience!
What is the biggest lesson learned as a kidpreneur and teenpreneur?
The biggest lesson learned is not to look back with regret. To not think, ‘Oh, I should have done this’ or 'Oh, I should have done that.’ Look at them as lessons and things that can progress you to move forward. Sometimes you get stuck in that mindset of regret, but if you look at it and see what you can change next time, then you can create a cycle of moving forward not backwards.
How did the idea for your book come about?
When I was younger, I wished I had a book to help me through all the wrongs and the rights of business and to give me some advice. I figured that the next generation that comes after me would benefit from this book because it would give them the do's and the don't's of the business world. It would be a starting point for anyone who wants to work toward a goal.
You call this book a 'pattern' for other budding entrepreneurs. What nuggets of wisdom can readers glean?
Readers can learn the BOWS of Business. It's an acronym I came up with to help anybody with a goal, not just young entrepreneurs. The BOWS of business are: Believe in yourself, take the Opportunity to give back, Work hard and study hard and have Support from friends and family.
How has Memphis embraced your book launch so far?
I have gotten such great feedback from everybody. Not only for my book but from day one. Even with the bow ties, everyone has shown love for my company.
What's next for you?
I plan to look at different colleges. I don’t know if I want to go to New York or California. Also, creating a fashion line has always been a priority and on my wish list. For Mo’s Bows, I am going to keep working on new prints and new fabrics to keep my customers interested.
You get the last word. Anything you’d like to add?
I’d like to take the time to thank Memphis for embracing my book and embracing my company as a whole. It’s been a pretty long journey. But I am glad to see you guys are still here with me and that you all will be there with me when we see what’s coming next!